09 July 2007

Richard Rorty, Patriot

Professor Richard Rorty (1931-2007) was an American philosopher of the Pragmatist school who understood that the promise of the United States, its vision and ideals, as set forth in its founding documents (the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America) are best understood as "works in progress." He thought that the United States' failure throughout its history to live up to the lofty standards codified in those founding documents in no way lessened their meaning, nor their value. He understood that the good that the United States has in fact achieved since 1776 has served to reinforce the idea of a country striving, by design, to be better than its all-too-human and very imperfect nature. Most important, he believed that those ideals exist as real, true things that We the People can achieve. It's the hopeful intent of this site to discuss and facilitate ways of actually achieving our nation, and thereby continue to form, as the Constitution exhorts, a more perfect union. Professor Rorty's book, Achieving Our Country (1998), is the inspiration for this site name.

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